Grief. Throbbing pain coursing through the brain, pounding on the temples. A headache? No. More. It came from the chest, a profound hollowness, no - a tightness, gripping the heart, squeezing, squeezing everything. No more tears. His eyes, red, swollen, unable to focus, blurred with lack of sleep.
The new contacts (Jenny had contacts) abandoned for the convenience of glasses. Glasses. Glasses. He'd lost his glasses once, at Sergeant Mountain, a hot summer day. Jenny had run all the way back to the waterfall, scouring the ground until she found them.
It wasn't hot anymore. Cold, cold. So cold, alone in his room. No light. But there was, far off, across the room, beckoning him to the desk. Time to lose himself in work. The valentine he had been making for Jenny, lying there, staring at him, mocking him with its red heart. Red, rage, anger surging through the blood. The tattered remnants of the card floating downward. Like the snow falling outside, incessantly falling, falling. Why? Why on Valentine's Day? What was wrong? Who else was there?
Time to do physics. Two problem sets, probably five hours of work. They must be done. Amplitude of waves. Waves. Waves lapping against the sailboat as it scudded across the bay. The wind swept strongly over the bow, blowing the wavy hair around her face. The sails billowed outward, shielding the boat from the beating sun of the lazy summer afternoon. Her head rested in the crook of his arm and their spirits soared while they glided across the water. But now they had fallen.
A night spent camping on Stave Island. Running through the woods, the swirling mist swallowing their heels. Climbing the moss-covered rocks to a place of total peaceful seclusion. Then back at the campfire, singing songs until dawn colored the morning sky. Is it morning yet? Sleep will not come this night. Have to concentrate, physics. The page is blurry, out of focus. Something is dripping, smearing the ink. What? Crying again. Thought that was over. Will it ever be over? Oh, how can it be over? 1
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.